The basic elements of a new experimental approach for the investigation of burnout in pool boiling are presented. The approach consists of the combined use of ultrathin (nano-scale) heaters and high speed infrared imaging of the heater temperature pattern as a whole, in conjunction with highly detailed control and characterization of heater morphology at the nano and micron scales. It is shown that the burnout phenomenon can be resolved in both space and time. Ultrathin heaters capable of dissipating power levels, at steady-state, of over 1 MW/square m are demonstrated. A separation of scales is identified and it is used to transfer the focus of attention from the complexity of the two-phase mixing layer in the vicinity of the heater to a micron-scaled microlayer and nucleation and associated film-disruption processes within it.